What drives you to pray?
Perhaps it’s a great need in your life brings you to your knees. Maybe you trust that God answers prayer. Or it could simply be a love for your heavenly Father and the desire to please Him. If you’re like me, the words “without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) drive you to your knees.
Due to the constant discouragement many of us face in prayer, we need constant reminders of why prayer is important.
There’s one biblical motivation to pray that I used to think was counterfeit. “There’s no way that can be a legit reason to pray,” I thought. “Only selfishness could drive a person to pray with this motivation.”
That motivation? Reward.
But the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:6 are crystal clear:
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Meditating on this verse is like looking through a keyhole into the heart of our heavenly Father. He loves His children and not only wants a relationship with them, He wants to reward them like an earthly father wants to reward his children for a job well done.
Yes, approaching Him with wrong motives will hinder our prayers (James 4:3). But Jesus gives us confidence that we can approach God the Father: He is ready and willing to reward us in His way and His time.
What would grasping this truth look like in your life? Thomas Brooks shared a few ideas in Private Prayer: The Key to Open the Heaven:
“Ah, Christians! did you really believe [that God rewards duties done in secret], and seriously dwell on this, you would,
1. Walk more thankfully.
2. Work more cheerfully.
3. Suffer more patiently.
4. Fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil, more courageously.
5. Lay out yourselves for God, his interest and glory, more freely.
6. Live with whatever providence has cut out for your portion, more quietly and contentedly. And,
7. You would be in private prayer more frequently, more abundantly.”
Who doesn’t want each and every one of those glorious benefits?
How can you remind yourself that God rewards prayer when your desire to pray wanes?
While I could brainstorm a dozen ideas for you, let me encourage you to ask God for yourself. I have a feeling He will listen.
 With Brooks’ main point, “secret duties shall have open rewards”, he also shared a heap of Scriptures proving his point: Ecclesiastes 12:14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12; Psalm 126:5; Luke 14:14; Matthew 25:34,37.
Editor’s Note: I wrote a book to help believers overcome obstacles in prayer! Learn more about When Prayer Is a Struggle or buy it on Amazon.